MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. The Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with Fregat upper stage and 34 British OneWeb communication satellites atop was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Saturday.
The upper stage will deploy the satellites in 3.5 hours. The satellites will be placed into the proper orbit in nine stages: first, two spacecraft and then four. It is the second launch of OneWeb modules from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Earlier, OneWeb company told TASS that the Saturday launch would mark the 55th anniversary of the first spacewalk by Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov on March 18, 1965.
The first six OneWeb satellites were launched on February 28, 2019 from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana by the Soyuz-ST carrier rocket. Another 34 satellites were sent to the orbit by the Soyuz-2.1b rocket from the Baikonur spaceport on February 7. In total, OneWeb plans to deploy about 600 satellites on the near-earth orbit. By 2021, the British company expects to ensure full-time communication for users around the globe.